Items tagged with social

It goes without saying that social media brings with it a slew of benefits -- quite simply, I couldn't imagine not having it at this point. It's proven a great way to not only keep in better contact with friends and family, but also to clue me in on what’s happening around the world; nowadays, most of the news I see comes from Facebook first. But, while that's all fine and good, I'll be the first to admit the social media is also rife with downsides, some of which are borderline rage inducing. Take Facebook's "Year In Review", for example. I admittedly don't share that much to Facebook outside of jokes and memes, so my year in review was simply pathetic. But even... Read more...
Has the beginning of the end of Facebook finally arrived? Probably not, but any hint at a decline isn't a great sign. While Facebook at the moment still dominates social media, both on the desktop and mobile, a recent study reveals that many people in the US and UK are beginning to use the service less and less. This is especially true where teenagers are concerned. According to the study, 50% of people said that their Facebook usage declined, a number that bursts to 64% when looking at the 16 - 19 demographic. Of those, 54% of teenagers said that their interest simply waned in the service, and there wasn't much reason to check it out more often. Admittedly, I feel like I've been using Facebook... Read more...
A couple of months ago, Facebook caused quite a stir when it wanted drag queens to use their real names on the service. Of course, this isn't a rule that affects only drag queens, but that was this community that became the loudest opposition. Last week, we established that the entire thing was a big misunderstanding, and that Facebook is actually fine with people using the name they're best known for. Well, if you had any lingering doubt about Facebook's sudden change-of-heart, a new report might help settle your opinion. The company is apparently working on a brand-new mobile app that will allow its users to interact with others while using an alias. Oh boy. (Flickr Credit: Âtin) The... Read more...
As widespread as social media is, and as close as it is to many of our lives, there's still much to learn about it. This is especially true with regards to how shared goals are achieved, and exactly how people are using social media to spread information. Companies like Twitter stand to gain from such advanced knowledge, as do many others, so the company has put up $10 million to have the Massachusetts Institute of Technology create tools that would help us better understand such things. MIT is calling its lab for the project "Laboratory of Social Machines", and it will begin by snatching a lot of data from Twitter-owned Gnip, a site that stores a massive database of historic social media information..... Read more...
Last weekend, we wrote about Ello, a proposed "Facebook-killer". Despite its myriad of lacking features and minimalistic interface, the service has grown incredibly in the past couple of weeks, all thanks to a bad move made by Facebook: Forcing people best-known under an alias to use their real names. The drag community has been integral in making Facebook take note that forcing a real name is not a great idea. Outside of that community, there are many legitimate reasons why someone might want, or need, to use an alias. Nonetheless, changes are coming, and I'm sure that's something many will be glad to hear - especially those in the drag community. Chris Cox, Facebook's Chief Product Officer,... Read more...
Many people have finally become truly fed-up with the likes of Facebook. All the ads, all the tracking, all the rules. Last month, the world's most popular social network found itself in hot water after it forced some drag performers to use their real names, and while it's not hard to understand Facebook's reasoning, it's a no-brainer that some people simply can't use their real names, either in the name of safety, or because they're better-known under an alias. It's for reasons like this, and especially privacy, that the popularity surrounding up-and-comer social network Ello has exploded. As of a couple of weeks ago, the invite-only network was in very early testing, with a modest number of... Read more...
We've always wondered if the digital world was spacious enough for Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and it seems that the answer to that is becoming ever clearer. G+ was mocked for years by those who felt that it joined the social race too late, and that Google was simply bullying users of its other products into signing up and linking an account. Forcing folks to use a product is no great way to organically grow a passionate user base, and it appears that even Google is now realizing that. Quietly, Google has removed the requirement that all new Gmail sign-ups also sign up for a Google+ account. During the process, you're still given the option to do so, but you're no longer required to do it.... Read more...
We're all pretty proud to admit that we've watched Citizen Kane or any other legendary classic, but those late-night cartoons and goofy sob stories? Not so much. Part of the digital economy is sharing. If you've got a product, it's really only to grow so much as folks will talk about it online. Obviously, Netflix stands to gain a lot (new subscribers, keeping existing ones interested, etc.) by having you share your viewing habits with others on social media. But up until this week, that sharing was public by default, which caused many to pause before blasting to the entire world what they were watching. Now, Netflix is giving its video subscribers a way to share their views privately. Netflix... Read more...
Late this week, Facebook announced that it's begun rolling out a new mobile feature to a small number of users that greatly enhances the service's search capabilities. Anyone who's ever used Facebook's search on mobile or the desktop are probably well-aware that it's not exactly the greatest tool out there - sometimes I even have difficulty getting a result for someone already on my friend's list. But finding people and groups is fairly easy; finding content from your friends' old posts is not. With this updated search, Facebook is looking to change that - but again, just for mobile. If you've ever been "shared" a post, which basically means you're on someone's friends' list and have had access... Read more...
Ask.com's service might annoy many today thanks to its uncanny ability to show up as a toolbar option in many installers, but back in the day, when it was still known as Ask Jeeves, many considered it to be one of the coolest services going. Amidst much competition, Ask's usage declined over time, and as it became clear that the company wasn't exactly winning its battle as a search engine with the likes of Google, it decided to become more of a Q&A service. As of the time of writing, it enjoys 180 million regular monthly visitors. Latvian-based Ask.fm, launched in 2010, shares similar goals, and also happens to have the under-18 demographic account for 40% of its overall userbase. Not surprisingly,... Read more...
Just over a week ago, we warned of the pending deadline for the forced transition to Facebook's Messenger app for those who wanted to continue having messaging capabilities. In that post, I wrote, "I personally believe that Facebook shouldn't force this transition, because not everyone (including me) wants to have two separate apps for the same service." As it turns out, a lot of people agree with that statement. Today was the day that Facebook pulled the plug on the messaging capabilities in its primary app, making it mandatory to download and install the Messenger app in order to continue having private chats. To say that many people were upset at this is an understatement. Very quickly, the... Read more...
For most of us, getting access to the Internet regardless of where we are isn't that challenging. If we're on-the-go, we can use our mobile phone, while at home, we can enjoy high-speed connections that let us do a variety of important and fun activities. In many countries, though, access to the World Wide Web isn't just challenging, it's expensive. It's for that reason that Facebook's just-launched Internet.org app in Zambia is significant. With this app, those in Zambia who subscribe to the carrier Airtel will have access to a wide-range of Internet services - all without the fear of being charged for the data usage. These services include Wikipedia, AccuWeather, Google's Search, a number of... Read more...
Facebook warned us this past spring that it would soon be getting rid of the ability to message others through its primary mobile app, and now, it updates us to let us know that the feature is really on its deathbed. Transition to Facebook Messenger, or else. Since Facebook's launch, the service has become a lot more than just a news feed. There are many who now make use of the service to keep in direct contact with others, even preferring to go that route rather than to stick to email. It's for reasons like that why Facebook so badly wanted to separate the messaging component from the main app, and in turn create a dedicated app. For some, having to navigate through the main app first isn't... Read more...
Take a wild guess which technology company now has a higher market capitalization than the mighty Oracle? Facebook, as it turns out. In the latest turn in what has been a wild ride (in both directions) since going public, Facebook's stock has surged on solid earnings to a record high. Now, the world's dominant social network is worth $76.74 per share on the NASDAQ. All told, this puts Facebook's market value at just under $200 billion, and a host of brokerages have raised their price targets on the stock. In other words, don't be surprised to see it reach $100 per share in the next year or two. The reason behind the lift? News that its mobile advertising revenue was up a staggering 151% in Q2,... Read more...
Earlier this month, Facebook made headlines for reasons some might consider enraging: It used nearly a million of its users as guinea pigs to gauge the service's emotional influence. An experiment like this is hardly that surprising of a company like Facebook, but that shouldn't make it something we should have to put up with. We followed-up to that story with news that British regulators weren't too happy about Facebook's project, and are now investigating a possible violation of its data protection laws. Despite the ethics, what's done is done, and what Facebook found was that a person's mood could be influenced quite easily. If you look at your news feed and see one sad thing after another,... Read more...
Last fall, a couple of reports trickled out that didn't bode too well for Facebook's future. They claimed that teens were effectively leaving the social network en masse - it was simply no longer cool, a reality heightened by the fact that so many parents also use the service. Well, as it now appears, some conclusions might have been met too early. To see where things stand today, Forrester Research surveyed 4,500 teens to learn about their social network use. An impressive 8 out of 10 responded that they visit Facebook at least once per month, whereas a third said that they visit the site "all the time". What might be more important than either of those results though is the fact that half of... Read more...
For many fledgling companies, consolidation becomes necessary after a period of, quite frankly, throwing anything and everything against a wall to see what sticks. For Foursquare, the opposite's happening. The check-in app is splitting into two apps, with "Swarm" being introduced as a companion to Foursquare, which will remain around as a slimmed-down app. The purpose of Swarm is to quickly and easily see where your friends are, share what you're up, and see if anyone around is up for meeting later. Swarm will be available on iOS and Android in the coming weeks, and soon after on Windows Phone. Once that happens, Foursquare will shift as well. It'll become more like a Yellow Pages application,... Read more...
As if GIFs weren’t taking over most corners of the Internet already, popular social site Pinterest officially supports them. Starting now, you can post GIFs to Pinterest and play or pause them in their spot on a board or on the main page. “The well-timed GIF may be the greatest thing to have happened to the internet since emoticons,” wrote the company in a blog post. (Eh, that’s debatable.) “There are already tens of millions of GIF Pins and a million people a day see at least one GIF on Pinterest, so there are plenty to choose from.” A quick search for “GIF” on Pinterest, though, reveals an awful lot of One Direction. That can’t be good.... Read more...
If you've been around the internet for as long as we have, you'll probably relate to something: this place is getting noisy, and nosier by the day.  It has become practically impossible to keep up with what's going on each day on the 'net, even if you're trying solely to focus on a specific area of interest. There's simply too much going on, too much conversation, and too many social channels to keep track of. Which is why Slashdot's CmdrTaco (Rob Malda) is introducing Trove. Trove has been around since 2010, but it's being re-invented this week as a new news curation tool. Specifically, it's a "social news app bringing you the best stories picked by people who share your interests." Each... Read more...
Here's a bit of news that's far from deserving of a "Giddyup!": Thanks to the work of a botnet called "Pony", hackers have gained access to credentials for over 2 million individual accounts. These accounts span the entire gamut: Facebook, Twitter, Google (Gmail), and even a payroll service provider - perhaps the most dangerous of them all. Pony works as a keylogger, capturing login details as users type them in. In this particular instance, the transactions end up going through a central server in the Netherlands, one that security analysis firm Trustwave has been tracking. After discovering all of the accounts that Pony had been exploiting, the firm notified the biggest companies in question,... Read more...
When Google made the seemingly inevitable move of merging YouTube and Google+ accounts together, it seemed that much of the Web was displeased. Out of nowhere, people began losing their usernames, replacing them instead with their real names. Anonymity was out the window, unless you were willing to sign up for a new account and effectively lose everything you've done on the previous one. Last week, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim spoke out about Google's decision, stating: "Why the [bleep] do I need a Google+ account to comment on a video?" That might be a less than eloquently stated, but it's hard to disagree. Even websites that give the option nowadays to sign in via Facebook, Twitter and... Read more...
Alongside Yelp, Facebook, Groupon, and LinkedIn, the world is welcoming yet another social behemoth onto the public trading floor today. Twitter, the microblogging service that evolved from a place to tell people about what you were eating for lunch into a place where news is broken, is now a publicly traded company. It's IPO went live today, and while major banks were able to get a chunk at the ~$20 mark, the masses are already being asked to pay upwards of $45 per share under symbol TWTR. Of course, it's irresponsible to consider the numbers that insider banks get compared to the laypeople relying on eTrade and ShareBuilder to make transactions, but the raw figures put the stock up around 70%... Read more...
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